The premier of Unknown Places – a new ensemble piece by Contact Dance Company.

‘Unknown Places’ a newly commissioned ensemble piece choreographed by dance artist Joanna Young was performed by Contact Dance Company, last week at The Hive in Shrewsbury.

13 dancers from Contact Dance Company wove intricate layers of simple evocative movements throughout this 20 minute piece, often collecting, moving, replacing and shifting natural objects such as bamboo, rocks, sticks and plants.

A dancer moves slowly within a circle while delicate strands of lavender are precariously balanced on her. A male dancer moves and slides a large boulder through his arms, a ripple of bamboo poles balanced on dancers bodies provides a gentle rhythmic accompaniment.

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The dance was accompanied by a subtle and dynamic soundscape of field recordings including birdsong, tides, river sounds, composed by Jamie McCarthy

The cast of 13 very individual dancers moved through shifts in mood and dynamics from subtle swaying and careful placing, to the creation of wild eddies of movement across a crowded dance floor. The piece demanded discipline and connection from the dancers, which was there for all to see.

 

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Members of the audience shared the following thoughts about the piece.

‘The new work was a wonderful piece of ensemble movement: focused, reflective, contemplative, infused with the presence not only of each dancer, but also the presence and energies of the natural world’

 ‘At times it felt like the piece was showing to me the ever moving qualities of the whole of humanity’20180619-IMG_2260 copy

 

Described by The Dancing Times as ‘an adventurous choreographic voice’, Joanna Young’s work is delicate, intricately crafted and absorbing to watch.

She writes ‘As a child I had an obsession with arranging spaces; moving paraphernalia and domestic furnishings around to create different atmospheres and situations. I feel like I am still playing the same game’

Before coming to Shropshire to make this new piece Joanna Young was in residency in West Wales, this ever-shifting landscape of rivers and tides had a big influence on the piece. During the making process the dancers were invited to spend a while witnessing the swirling currents of the river Severn and for these currents to be internalised and expressed by the dancers.

Many members of the audience commented on the absorbing, mesmerising and soothing qualities of the piece.

In the first half of the show Contact Dance Company shared two powerful duets

‘Unspoken’ and ‘While you broke through’ and screened a film about their making process entitled ‘A bridge between us’ These works get to the heart of what contact Dance company is about. Connection, relationship, presence, and a joy in the moving body.

Unknown places will be performed in the autumn, that and other repertory work will be available for bookings.

Images of Unknown Places – photography by Ewen Macintyre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Dance Company presents ‘Unknown Places’ at The Hive in Shrewsbury on Wednesday June 20th

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Contact Dance Company are excited to present its new ensemble dance piece
‘Unknown Places’ choreographed by Joanna Young.  The piece will be performed alongside other dances from the company repertoire alongside its most recent work on film ‘A Bridge Between Us’.

An ensemble of 12 dancers have been immersed in the devising process with dance artist Joanna Young.  Joanna states

‘We have been exploring how we navigate, compose and find comfort within the unknown, we play with notions of waves, tides, and changing places. As the external and internal structures ebb and flow, build and disperse we find new ways to connect and explore a constantly moving stillness’

The performance is an important milestone for Shropshire Inclusive Dance who through funding from Arts Council England are embarking on an exciting new programme of work entitled ‘Growing Together’. The development of Contact Dance Company is an important part of this programme.

The performance is on Wednesday 20th June at The Hive, 5 Belmont, Shrewsbury  
SY1 1TE 

There will be a Matinee performance 1.30pm and an evening performance at 7.30pm 

Tickets are £5 adults and children are Free.

Please reserve your tickets by contacting us by phone on 01743 234976 or by emailing officesidance@gmail.com

Contact Dance Company in rehearsal for their upcoming performance of ‘Unknown Places’

Contact Dance Company have been working hard devising their latest ensemble piece ‘Unknown Places’ with dance artist Joanna Young.

The ensemble of 12 dancers have been immersed in creating the new work which will have its premiere on Wednesday 20th June at The Hive in Shrewsbury. It will be a special evening with work from the company’s repertoire, a film about our duets and of course ‘ Unknown Places’

 

More information about booking tickets to see the show at The Hive will be publicised very soon. In the meantime heres some images of our performers creating the new work.

Images by Ray jacobs

 

 

 

Welcome to our new freelance administrator !

SiD would like to give a big welcome to our new freelance Administrator
Kim Tunbridge.

Kim is an experienced and qualified administrator and was previously Office Manager at the British Paralympic Association and then PA to the CEO.

We are excited to welcome Kim to the team and get Kim’s support in the office so we can make SiD’s ‘Growing Together Programme’ one which truly lives up to its name.

Kim will be working at our base at The Hive in Shrewsbury on Mondays and Tuesdays, she will be able to help you with questions about the company or enquiries about our projects on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Our new company phone number is 01743 234976

In Residency in Abercych

SiD had a fantastic time on residency in West Wales, with many thanks to ‘Maynard Abercych’ we shared our dance practise with participants from Pembrokeshire People First and Clynfyw Care Farm.

We were proud to present Arty Party‘s Four Solos in the Wild exhibition in the beautiful 2 Penrhiw where we were staying. Over 60 people visited the exhibition many of whom took part in a gorgeous workshop at Abercych village hall.

Over 30 people aged between 6 and 60 embodied so much of what SiD is all about, celebrating the moving connection between us all. The exhibition presented in the cottage deeply moved many of the visitors. The SiD team were Chloe Shepherd, Mervyn Bradley, Rachel Liggitt and Ray Jacobs. We gained from residing in the beautiful cottage and surroundings in the village of Abercych. Ingredients of the residency included; teamwork, trust, shared cooking, shared laughter, generous hosting from Sterling and Simon and a journey back through the snow.

 

Growing Together with Aya Kobayashi

Contact Dance Company and friends were lucky to be the recipients of two days of workshops led by dance artist Aya Kobayashi on April 5th – 6th.

Aya began her training in Japan before enrolling at the Rambert School in London. She has performed with companies and choreographers that include Flexer & Sandiland, Rosemary Lee, Charlie Morrissey, Kerry Nicholls, Pete Shenton, Gecko and Lila Dance.

Aya has also presented her own work at Tate family festivals, the Sanriku International Festival in Japan, and regularly teaches for Independent Dance, Greenwich Dance, Brighton Dance Network, Oxford Collective and various universities.

Aya has choreographed touring works for Anjali and has supported guest choreographers including Maresa von Stockert, Amit Lahav, Luca Silvestrini, Lea Anderson and Gary Clarke.

We were delighted to be joined by dance artists from the West Midlands region and dancers from The Blue Room based at Bluecoat house in Liverpool.

Over the two days Aya led the participants into a deeper understanding of their own bodies leading them into new ways of moving.

Aya shared objects, pictures and films that helped develop a richness in movement dynamics and articulation.

Aya used props from sources as unlikely as a coathanger to give us a sense of width and weight, to water filled balloons to give us a sense of softness, to watching the elegant walk of a tiger.

The two days workshops culminated in the use of costume to enhance, explore, eschew, force and inspire different ways of moving in solo duet and group forms.

It has been a delight to welcome guest artists to lead workshops for us and regional colleagues, dancers and artists to participate with us. We would like to thank
‘The Gateway’ in Shrewsbury for hosting three of these workshops.

We hope to curate further guest workshops in the future.

Images from day two of the workshop are below. Photography by Ewen Macintyre.

 

 

 

Ways of Being Together. A two day workshop with Jo Fong. March 5th/ 6th

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‘Ways of Being Together is a series of workshops, discussions and performances facilitated by Jo Fong centred around the idea of of Belonging. A sense of belonging is intimate and powerful, connected, optimistic, unknown and curious making’

Members of Contact dance Company were joined by dancers from around the region to dance under the energising and inspiring guidance of dance artist  Jo Fong.

Jo Fong is a director, choreographer and performer working in dance, film, theatre, opera and the visual arts. Her eclectic career includes performances with DV8 Physical Theatre, Rosas (Belgium) and Rambert Dance Company. Recent collaborations include working with Wendy Houstoun, Sonia Hughes, Deborah Light, Unfinished Business, Skye Reynolds, National Theatre Wales, Welsh National Opera, Hull Dance and Quarantine

Jo really immersed us in movement; her own joy of moving (whole heartedly and energetically) was contagious. Jo built energy in our bodies and throughout the group and facilitated a climate of listening, physical playfulness and openness to change.

When Jo set us simple movement based tasks, for example  ‘listening to a partners spine’, ‘dancing in partners, hands placed simply on shoulders’, or following our gaze to initiate movement. The tasks were explored with appetite, verve and sensitivity.

We also listened to the whole group dancing and our place in it,  the ensemble as an animal, improvising, listening, accelerating, quieting and resting

It felt by the end of the two days as if the group had been really stretched, challenged, had worked hard physically and got a lot of joy from moving and being together.

 

Above are some images of the 2ndday of the workshop when Jo was working with Contact Dance Company. Photography is by Ewen Macintyre.